My Trumpet Playing
I started playing cornet (Conn Director) in 1965 in the sixth grade. After one year of French Horn (7th grade) I switched back to cornet in the eighth grade, and started taking lessons. Around the end of ninth grade I switched to a Conn Connstellation trumpet, and played it during high school. After high school I traded in the Connstellation for a pro-model large bore, lightweight Holton trumpet, which I played all the way through college.
Some of my best memories of college come from playing in the NCSU Stage band, which played courtside during basketball games. I was there playing my heart out as NCSU won the 1974 national championship!
After college, I sold the Holton (big mistake!) and quit playing. About five years later my cousin wanted me to play in her wedding, so I picked up a Selmer Radial in a pawn shop and did my best for about three months prior to the wedding to reclaim some playing abilities, with my first infant child sleeping down the hall! After playing in the wedding,the horn went back into the closet...
When that infant daughter entered high school, of course I attended her band concerts (she plays flute). I started to remember how much fun playing had been, and pulled the old Selmer back out of the closet. I spent the next two years playing in the basement trying to get ready to "go public" with my somewhat-rebuilt skills.

In the spring of 1999 I began playing with the Callanwolde Concert Band . This is a fine community band with some very good players, and I enjoyed playing with this group. However, after a couple of years, the CCB rehearsal schedule changed so that I was unable to be at rehearsals. Since then I have been enjoying playing in the Atlanta Concert Band.

At the recommendation of some TPIN members, I have been using the Claude Gordon method in my comeback. In particular, I am using his method books titled "Brass Playing Is No Harder Than Deep Breathing", and "Systematic Approach to Daily Practice". I also practice from Herbert L. Clarke's Technical Studies and the Arban/Clarke Method for Cornet. But what I really like doing is playing old Louis Armstrong Hot 5's and Hot 7's along with the recording, or with Band-in-a-Box!
Obligatory mouthpiece discussion: After spending a couple of years on Schilke 20 rims, I decided to downsize in order to improve my endurance. (Two hour rehearsals and 2+ hour concerts were a real bear!) For a while I used a Schilke 15a4 and a Yamaha 17C4 GP. I started using the Schilke for endurance purposes in an incredibly long July 4th concert (with 1812 Overture at the end as fireworks began!). For about a year now I've been playing on a GR 66 ** Gary Radke model which I find to give a better sound and surer control than the Schilke 15a4.
My main cornet mouthpieces include a couple of Curry 1 1/2 DC mouthpieces (regular and large Olds shank), and a Kanstul Olds replica (modern shank).

There exists the theoretical possibility that I might one day put some sound bytes of my playing here.... Time will tell!

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All images and text, ©1999 Alan Rouse.   All rights reserved.